Kruger’s praying for a kosher cell

Disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger (right) paid lawyer Benjamin Brafman $1.4 million to represent him in the bribery case. The money came out of Kruger’s campaign treasury.
File photo by Bess Adler

Disgraced pol Carl Kruger wants to serve his seven-year sentence for corruption in Otisville, NY — for religious reasons.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Jed Rakoff has forwarded a request sent by Kruger’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, to the Bureau of Prisons asking that the former state senator be sent to Otisville so he could have access to kosher food, the New York Post reported.

The Bureau of Prisons — which is not required to follow the judge’s recommendation — declined to comment on whether it would ship Kruger, who is Jewish, to Otisville, which Forbes magazine called one of America’s “10 Cushiest Prisons.”

A spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons did say that the federal department tries to comply with the judge’s recommendation when possible.

If Kruger does end up serving his time in Otisville, he’ll be doing it with his favorite accomplice — and suspected boyfriend — Michael Turano.

Robert Katzberg, Turano’s lawyer, said the primary purpose to ship the disgraced gynecologist upstate was so his mother, 74-year-old Dorothy Turano, could visit her son more easily — Otisville is only about 70 miles northwest of the city.

“It is our hope that if the Bureau of Prisons designates Carl Kruger and Michael Turano to that facility, Mrs. Turano will only have to travel to one prison to visit both,” Katzberg said, according to the Post.

Rakoff sentenced Kruger to seven years in prison on April 26, claiming that the pol’s scheme to accept close to $1 million in bribes was a “dagger into the heart of good government.”

Turano received two years in prison for his role in the political corruption scandal.

A choked-up Kruger, who pleaded guilty to accepting payoffs from deep-pocketed lobbyists, told Manhattan federal court Judge Jed Rakoff that he’d learned his lesson.

“My actions will forever overshadow whatever legacy I intended to achieve,” he said. “My sentencing hasn’t begun, but my punishment is well underway.”

Both Kruger and Michael Turano were able to leave court free men: their prison sentences are scheduled to begin on June 26.

Federal prosecutors said Kruger used his bribes to finance a lavish lifestyle that included a super luxury English-made Bentley automobile and the garish seaside mansion on Mill Island he shares with the Turano family.

The case against Kruger unfolded a web of deceit and lies last March, when federal prosecutors charged him with offering his political clout to the highest bidder.

Prosecutors claim lobbyists funneled thousands of dollars in payoffs to a dummy corporation that Michael Turano founded so Kruger could help them on a litany of legislative matters, including:

• Delaying the expansion of a bill that included a five-cent deposit on bottled water.

• Altering the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law so grocery stores could sell wine.

• Going to war with American Indian reservations to demand they pay state sales taxes on cigarette and tobacco sales.

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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